Customer Information File (CIF)

Reviewed by Vineeth | Updated on Aug 27, 2020

Introduction

CIFs contain CIF numbers, and it allows the businesses to access the accounts of its customer accounts by their types. Although CIFs are mostly used by banks, they are not strictly designed for banks.

What is Customer Information File (CIF)?

Customer Information Files (CIFs) are e-files that store relevant data of customers' account and personal information. The customer information file will be assigned with a unique CIF number, and it allows the companies to access the data of its clients and customers. However, the data can be accessed and filtered only by the relationship filter and not the type of account.

Customer information files are predominantly used in the banking industry, and other sectors are slowly starting to utilise customer information files to store the data of their customers. Customer information files in a typical bank will generally contain a customer's account(s) information, information of the ownership of the account, and credit relationships (if any).

A customer information file gives the companies and businesses a brief of all relevant activities pertaining to a specific client or customer. Typically, customer information files are held in e-format and are assigned with a CIF number for the purpose of quick access.

If not stored in electronic format, a CIF can be maintained in a traditional paper folder format which contains documents that are affixed by signatures from customers at the time of starting their relationship with the firm. Customer information files act as a repository for verifying customer's data with no need of having to look at individual accounts and transactions.

Why is Customer Information File (CIF) Important?

The advancement in technology has made maintaining customer information an easy task for companies. There is no need for having to maintain physical records as they can be stored in an electronic form. This has reduced the cost of maintenance as there is no need for a physical place and workforce to store the paper documents. Customer information files have led to the 'lead generation' business which makes use of the purchase history.